Instead of celebrating Christmas Day with one of Belacqua’s screeds, I decided to post this poem instead.
By Thomas Hardy
Christmas Eve, and twelve of the clock.
“Now they are all on their knees,”
An elder said as we sat in a flock
By the embers in hearthside ease.
We pictured the meek mild creatures where
They dwelt in their strawy pen,
Nor did it occur to one of us there
To doubt they were kneeling then.
So fair a fancy few would weave
In these years! Yet, I feel,
If someone said on Christmas Eve,
“Come; see the oxen kneel
“In the lonely barton[i] by yonder coomb[ii]
Our childhood used to know,”
I should go with him in the gloom,
Hoping it might be so.
A Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday to one and all.
[ii] Small valley